Cincinnati Children's Blog

Why Don’t Teens Get Shots for HPV and Other Diseases?

Citing safety concerns, parents are increasingly reluctant to have their teenage daughters vaccinated against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a new study.

Even though doctors increasingly recommend the HPV vaccine, 16 percent of parents say concerns over safety and side effects are the main reasons they did not have their daughters vaccinated in 2010. That’s up five percent from 2008, according to the study in April’s Pediatrics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says HPV vaccines offer the best protection to girls and boys who receive all three vaccine doses and have time to develop an immune response before being sexually active with another person.

The first HPV vaccine was licensed in 2006, and even then “there was very strong evidence that it was safe,” says Dr. Jessica Kahn, professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s, commenting on the study. That evidence “only continues to increase as tens of millions of doses have been administered and no evidence of safety concerns has emerged,” says Kahn.

Read more about the study in USA Today.

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